Friday, April 29, 2016

Mulch 2016

Long time, no blogging.  We have been busy with our baby, who is barely a baby anymore at 10 months old.  We recently updated the mulch in our yard and it was very useful to look back at our 2011 post about wood chips, so I figured another post about our wood chips would be helpful to us in the future.

We have a busy spring coming up so on the weekend of April 16th, Patrick decided to go for it and get all the mulch and spread it all out.  I will admit I had no involvement in this project at all.  Patrick ordered 9 cubic yards of mulch from Hedberg to be delivered to our house on April 15th.  That looked like an insane amount of mulch.  And it wasn't cheap either.  We paid $390 for the 9 cubic yards, which included a 10% off coupon ($310 for the mulch, $80 for delivery).  When we added wood chips in 2011 we used about 8 cubic yards, but thought 9 would be sufficient in the future.  Well, apparently that wasn't enough.  Over six hours Patrick hauled 77 wheel barrows full of mulch and it only covered the back yard (minus under the deck) and the west side of the house (which we later covered with Home Depot mulch).

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On Sunday there was much more mulching to be done.  We knew we didn't want another load delivered since we would then have to pay another delivery fee, so we were planning to get bags to finish the front of the house.  I saw an ad on TV that Home Depot was having a sale on mulch.  We looked into that and it ended up being $2 a bag, so that's where we ended up getting the rest of our mulch.  Patrick used Home Depot's online measuring tool to determine how much more mulch we needed.  The estimator said we would need 112 more bags.  We thought that sounded like way too much.  Patrick borrowed Nick's truck and trailer and bought 60 bags at Home Depot for $128.  That't about all that fit in there and if we needed more we could always go back and get more.

Luckily that ended up being enough.  So in total this project cost $518.  Since the mulch from Home Depot is colored, it was much darker than the mulch we bought from Hedberg.  Patrick put the Home Depot mulch over the part of the front yard he had done on Friday, so the whole front yard would be the same color. The front is the darker Home Depot mulch and the backyard is the lighter Hedberg mulch.  I will say the Home Depot stuff looks nicer, but it also was a much bigger pain for Patrick to deal with the bags vs the Hedberg mulch we had delivered.  

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Here are the before and after photos.  You can definitely tell the difference in the front, the back is much harder to tell.  Hopefully this cuts back on the weeds, as that is the biggest pain of having landscaping for sure.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Lutsen 2015

Well the last time I posted we were on the North Shore. I guess it's fitting my next post would be about a trip north again. Since my last post lots has happened, but I don't really have the energy to catch up. A short summary of September to January.

September - We got pregnant

October - We attended three weddings - Ryan & Kati - Sami & Steve - Elysia & Nick

November - We took a two week road trip. We visited Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and South Dakota. It was amazing and considering I was 10-12 weeks pregnant we got to do and see a lot.

December - We told all our friends and family about our baby news

January - Nothing exciting, started our list of things to do before the baby comes

And now to the highlight of February, a trip to the North Shore. We took our annual trip to Lutsen a couple weekends ago. It was a short trip, but so nice to get away and get outside after being inside all winter. The group this year included me, Patrick, Erin, Jachin, Heather, Jay, Elysia, Nick, Kate, Jeff, David & Kasie.

We made it pretty low key with the cooking and went out to dinner on Friday night to the Cascade Lodge and ordered pizza from Sven and Ole's for dinner on Saturday. We also switched up lunch and did grilled cheese and chili for lunch. I wasn't able to ski this year so I went with the other non skiers and went snowshoeing. Snowshoes weren't really necessary, but we bought these snowshoes in November and haven't used them once this winter so I was determined get one use out of them this winter. The trail we did was the Oberg Mountain Loop on the SHT. Lots of ups and downs. My fitbit counted 60 flights of stairs that day, which I would guess most from our hike. I can't imagine how many would be in a regular SHT trip.

Oberg Mountain Loop - SHT

Selfies on Oberg Mountain

Oberg Mountain Hiking Crew - Elysia, Sara, Heather, Jay & Kasie

While we were snowshoeing Patrick and Jachin tried out Free Fall the run that Patrick named last year. Let's just say they both survived, but neither of them plan to do that again anytime soon.

Patrick Skis Free Fall

On Sunday on our way home we stopped at Palisade Head. It's a short hike right off Hwy 61 and has some great views.

Palisade Head

Whole Group Selfie at Lutsen

And some bonus photos of me and my bump on the North Shore.

24 weeks on the North Shore

Friday, October 17, 2014

Superior Hiking Trail - Cascade River State Park

Three weeks ago already we headed north to the Superior Hiking Trail for our annual fall hiking trip. Fall on the North Shore is awesome and I am so glad even with our busy hectic fall this year we made time to go up there. Our fall is filled with weddings, wedding festivities and Patrick even squeezed in a trip to the Grand Canyon with his friend Rickard in September. Two days after Patrick got back from the Grand Canyon we headed north to Cascade River State Park. Because of Patrick's recent trip we took it easy and decided to only hike the 8 mile loop that went through the park rather than do the shuttle thing we normally do.

Since we didn't have a shuttle to catch we took our sweet time getting up north and unfortunately got stuck in traffic in Two Harbors. Apparently 80 degree fall days makes everyone want to venture north and take in the fall colors. When we finally got to Cascade River State Park it was still pretty busy. Luckily when you walk 3 miles with a backpack to your campsite you become much more secluded. We stopped at the first site that we were potentially going to stay at and a group of rowdy 20 year olds were there, so we decided to move on to the next site in hopes that we would end up at a site by ourselves. The next site did have a tent on it, but we couldn't tell if people were in there sleeping or what the deal was. We didn't have another good option at this point so we decided to stay there. We set up the tent and our new hammock and then the people with the tent came back from their day hiking. It was getting dark at this point so we started a fire and made dinner.

Cut Log Campsite on SHT in Cascade River State Park

Cut Log Campsite on SHT in Cascade River State Park

We woke up on Sunday morning to another gorgeous day. The sun was shining and it was supposed to be in the 70's again. We decided that day hiking versus packing up our stuff and going to the next site sounded very appealing. At first we were going to do the whole loop in the end we decided to hike the Cascade Lodge for lunch and then hike up to Lookout Mountain instead. Definitely not a typical backpacking trip for us, but super enjoyable not carrying a 30 pound pack the entire time. After our previous fall trip where it rained for hours we had been keeping tabs on the weather and a storm was supposed to come in that night. Neither of us wanted to be stuck hiking in the rain so we headed back to camp. We were able to try out our hammock, make dinner and barely eat it before the storm came in.

SHT- Cascade River State Park

Camping at Cut Log Campsite on SHT

Cascade River State Park in Fall

Cut Log Campsite

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Sara and Patrick on Bench Near Cascade River Lodge

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Lookout Mountain at Cascade River State Park

Sara and Patrick at Lookout Mountain at Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park

Patrick in Hammock at Cut Log Campsite on SHT

It rained all night Sunday, but it cleared up by morning. The only unfortunate thing was that now the temperature dropped to 50 degrees and it was cold. We packed up our stuff and headed the other direction on the trail back to our car. The trip back was pretty uneventful. There was a sign warning us that a bridge was out so it might be difficult to cross after a rainfall. Good thing we didn't listen to that because the area was completely dried out. We did ask the lady at the state park office about this before hand and she didn't seem concerned about it either so I think it's probably a bigger deal in the spring than in the fall. When we got back to the car we decided to head to Grand Marais to check it out since we hadn't been that far north in years. The donut shop was still open so we did get one of those before they closed. We were thinking of staying in Lutsen or even Duluth that night, but in the end we decided it would just be nicer to sleep in our own beds that night. On our way home we did stop at Temperance River, Tettegouche, and Lutsen to check out the fall colors. We considered doing the gondola ride but it was a pretty dreary, cold day so it didn't seem that worth the $10 fee to ride it. And of course no trip of ours is complete with out a stop at Pizza Luce in Duluth.

Leave after Rain at Cascade River State Park on SHT

Leave after Rain at Cascade River State Park on SHT

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SHT and Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park

Lutsen Mountain Fall

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

The Thursday before Labor Day we switched up our normal monthly happy hour for a trip to the State Fair. The weather looked less than ideal with potential storms coming in, but we lucked out and it only sprinkled a couple times. Patrick's co-worker Mike joined us since he was in town from Chicago. We got to the fair around 5pm and managed to eat, drink and spend a lot of money by the time we left. I was quite hungry when we got there so I had a pronto pup, then we got the pretzel curds and a couple beers from O'Gara's.

State Fair 2014

Then we moved on to Jalepeno Poppers. After the poppers we met up with our friends at the Roasted Corn Stand. We didn't partake in the corn and moved on to the Minnesota Wine Building. Kate had some fried brie with her wine. Up next was the Craft Beer Tasting Building. Probably the best deal at the fair, only $8 for 4 good sized tasting glasses.

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

To cap off the evening we headed to the new West End area and checked out the Blue Barn, got our photos taken at the arcade and ate some more food including a deep fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, a crepe, a footlong hot dog and pizza at the Midway.

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

The rest of Labor Day weekend was pretty relaxed compared to our normal vacation with my dad's family. This year on Saturday we stayed home and Patrick made us these ribs for dinner.

Ribs, Asian Coleslaw and Corn

On Sunday we went to Lund's and Caribou for breakfast. A few weeks before that we discovered they have an awesome little upstairs area that is perfect for enjoying a breakfast treat and coffee on a weekend morning. That afternoon we headed to my cousin Kelly's house in Burnsville to see my dad's family. It was a hot and humid day so a bunch of people went swimming and we enjoyed some burgers and brats.

Labor Day Weekend

On our final day of the long weekend I was persuaded to participate in my first CrossFit workout. Patrick also convinced Luke and Kendra's husband Scott to join us. Our CrossFit workout was on the beach in Excelsior and was a partner event, Patrick and I as one group and Scott and Luke as another. Our WOD (workout of the day) was 50 burpees that included synchronized jumping over a telephone pole after each rep. Then we had to bury the 4 foot telephone pole in the sand using our hands and rocks to dig the hole. After burying our telephone pole we had to do 50 tuck jumps in thigh high water. After our tuck jumps Patrick had to carry me on his back for 4 lengths of the beach. And then to end the workout we dug up our telephone pole, did 50 partner thrusters with the telephone pole and 50 more burpees. And we all survived, barely:).

That afternoon the weather was so nice we decided to go on a bike ride. We rode our bikes to the West End in St. Louis Park and ate dinner at Jersey Mike's Subs. On our way home we checked out the Palace, where Patrick lived before we were married, and it has gotten quite the update. To the point it's almost unbelievable its the same house from the outside, especially when you compare it to the neighbors house which is essentially a mirror image of the Palace. Our last stop for the evening was Dairy Queen in our neighborhood. It ended up being a perfect way to end the summer.

Bike ride to SLP

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Bike ride to SLP

All that exercise in one day definitely caught up with me the next day at work, my whole body took a couple days to recover.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

6 Years

On August 23rd Patrick and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. To celebrate the occasion we went to dinner the Thursday night before our anniversary. On our actual anniversary I had a wedding to photograph and we were both attending my cousin's wedding so we knew that day would be a busy one.

For our anniversary dinner we were supposed to go AgriCulture on 50th and France, but once we got there we weren't really in the mood for healthy food anymore so we went to the pub Pig and Fiddle across the street instead. Patrick got a british inspired Chicken Gryo and I had a Brie Grilled Cheese with a Fish Curry Soup. Both were really tasty and not at all appropriate for the steamy weather outside. After dinner we got dessert at the Yogurt Lab and checked out a Sur La Table. Quite the exciting lives we live for sure.

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On our actual anniversary I had a wedding until 4pm and my cousin's wedding was in Lakeville at 4pm, so I figured I would at least make it to the reception. Patrick went to the wedding with Luke and I ended up getting to Lakeville right as they were getting through the receiving line. We had a ton of fun at the wedding. My mom even requested our wedding song to be played during the dance. It really was the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary.

Jason & Caitlin's Wedding

Jason & Caitlin's Wedding

Jason & Caitlin's Wedding

And here we are on each of our previous anniversaries.

6 Years of Anniversaries